The frog is a lure that’s a symbol of summertime like baseball, BBQs, and beaches – frogs are also deadly baits in the spawn and postspawn periods. Bass Pro Tour Stage One winner Bradley Roy picks up his frog rod early in the year, especially when he’s trying to gauge a fishery and what stage of the spawn the bass are in.
A “Litmus Test” Lure
Whenever Roy arrives at a lake around the spawn and backs his Mercury-powered Triton in the water, a frog is one lure that he can use to quickly see how fish are acting and where they’re located.
“The frog is so good because it’ll catch bass that are getting ready to spawn, those that are spawning, and the ones that are already done,” Roy said. “It’s also great because you can quickly cover water with it and fish it anywhere. It’s my go-to anytime I’m fishing in the spring. I like it because you can fish fast and still catch fish while getting an idea of what the fish are doing.”
Roy will fish in likely spawning areas and work through an area with a standard walking frog and switch to a popping frog when the shad and bluegill spawns are more of a factor.
“If the fish are spawning, you’ll get fish that show themselves and come up to look at the frog and then swim back and reveal that he’s sitting on a bed,” Roy said. “You can catch those fish with something else if you need to. If the bass are done spawning, a lot of those fish still hang shallow, guarding fry or looking for an easy meal and the frog will catch both those kinds of fish.”
Other lures will catch shallow bass this time of year, but Roy opts for the frog because of how and where he can fish it.
“It doesn’t matter how shallow you are or how thick the cover is, nothing is better at reaching those areas than a frog,” he says. “I like it because you can work it around a laydown, hole in the grass, or any cover and leave it in one place if you need to. You can’t do that with a swim jig or spinnerbait, and nothing beats the weedless properties of a frog; you can fish it anywhere.”
“The whole key with the setup is something you can skip the frog into cover and that rod has the right tip, with enough power to give me a stout hookset,” Roy said.
After the Bass Spawn
Once the bass have completed the spawn, Roy will swap out frog colors to match spawning shad and bluegill.
“Generally, right after the bass spawn, you’ll start to see some shad spawning and bluegill will be after that,” he says. “The frog is still one of my best baits. That’s what I love so much about the bait, it doesn’t box me into a corner and you can catch fish with it no matter what the bass are doing and fish it on any kind of fishery.”